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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
140 336927 Oct 4, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $1,265.28
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.64
7.80
8.9
ef_16-35_28_1_

Specifications:
To meet the growing demand of digital SLR owners, this ultra-wide-angle zoom offers a broader view, fast aperture, and closer focusing down to 11 in. (.28m). The first EF wide-angle zoom to combine three aspherical elements and Canonís UD glass, the lens remains compact while providing superior image quality across its range. Constructed to pro standards, itís also highly resistant to dust and moisture.


 


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recordproducti
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Registered: Jul 11, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 216
Review Date: Mar 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent colour, very sharp, fast and accurate focusing, good solid build. Superb images.
Cons:
It's not cheap.

I'd been using a Sigma 15-30 for ultra wide images on my 5D and it was driving me mad when used at wider apertures, not bad but compared with say the 50 f/1.4 it was really poor. This gem has opened up a new world in terms of quality giving lots of 3D pop that I was looking for. I really like its crisp and smooth images, it seems to really pull in the light in my ding recording studio situations and first shoot with it made a magazine cover.

I bought mine knowing that the new version is due out soon but to be honest, I wonder how much better things can get - if the new version was an F/2 or something that would have stopped me but images on my first few demanding photo shoots demonstrated excellent sharpness from wide open, better than I would have expected.

If I can find a single niggle it would be that flare needs to be watched out for. I still will be getting the 35L but for the majority of wide angle pictures I think that this is a gem.

Just to add, I had tried out the 17-40L f/4 and my copy compared to that is a fair bit better and much more flexible.

A serious thumbs up from me!



Mar 13, 2007
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jmintz
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Registered: Feb 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 81
Review Date: Feb 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Well built, fast focusing, sharp
Cons:
price (but you know that going in)

This lens seems to be hit or miss judging other people's reviews, but either I'm not as critical as other reviewers, or I got a great copy.

Zoom is smooth, focuses really fast in low light (I'm a concert photographer, so performance under poorly lit conditions is key for me).

Shots are sharp across the board for the most part, and I'm very happy with the lens.


Feb 27, 2007
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radiodenver
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Registered: Apr 4, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 490
Review Date: Feb 11, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast autofocus, very well built, good image quality
Cons:
Expensive.

This is one of those loveit/hateit lenses it seems judging from reviews. Personally, I like this lens alot. I use wide primes for landscape work, but for what this lens can do, no other zoom lens in the focal range comes close. Especially on the full frame camera body. On the 5D, It's a cut above the 17-40L in my opinion. It vignettes slightly at f 2.8, and gets better from there on out. If I were shooting a 30D or 1.6 crop most of the time, I'd probably go for the 17-40L as a cheaper alternative. For low light work on the 5D in confined areas, no other zoom can compete with this.

This lens is built like a tank, it's easy to handle, doesn't weigh too much and I can carry it around on a 5D all day and not bother me at all.

The contrast is good, sharpness is good too. I've seen people report problems with this lens sharpness, but I think it's mostly a case of not knowing how to use the lens properly. You're on the extreme edges of focal performance with a lens of this nature and knowing what it can and can't do is key to enjoying it.


Feb 11, 2007
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Krosavcheg
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Registered: Apr 9, 2006
Location: Japan
Posts: 2691
Review Date: Jan 28, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: Build quality, quick focus, minimal focusing distance, superb bokeh!
Cons:
Absolutely horrendous CA, extremely soft even stopped down - not to mention corners blurred beyond recognition, flare, hunting in low light, disgraceful price tag.

Very disappointed with this one.

Bought it through eBay, which allowed me to save couple of pounds. Pouch and cap were included in the price, which was a bonus also.

Initial shots disappointed me beyond belief.
Having heard the good comments about sharpness of the lens I was pretty much gutted.

Due to the lack of lenses in the similar range I had to compare this to my existing Sigma 24-70mm f3.5-5.6 Aspherical HF and my friend's Canon 17-40mm f4L.
The result was a noticeable albeit marginal difference between Sigma and 16-35mm while there was almost no difference at all between 17-40mm f4L and 16-35mm.

Chromatic aberration is completely out of control and ruined just about every picture taken. It is fixable, but it adds inconvenience of spending extra time photoshopping every single photo.

If you wonder if the comments about bad flare of this lens are true? They indeed are. Having said that, it is of course advisable not to point the camera directly at any light source.

Vignetting on a 1.6x body is expected and would be silly to complain about, so yes vignetting does occur, and no it doesn't affect the review.

I don't know how this lens performs on a full frame body, but it is surely useless on a 350D. This is definitely not a lens for landscape. Perhaps a little abstract photography and portraits. That's pretty much it.

Sadly, this is last L-series zoom I will ever touch other than with barge pole.


Jan 28, 2007
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alfieri
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Registered: Feb 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 175
Review Date: Jan 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,370.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: better IQ and focus reliability than the 17-40 f/4L; extra stop; very good colors
Cons:
not quite good enough for the price; too soft on the wide end

sample images and ramblings:

http://alfieri.smugmug.com/gallery/2384081

in the end, ended up getting the 5D + 35/1.4L.


Jan 23, 2007
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Christobel
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Registered: Sep 26, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: Dec 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Incredibly sharp, even wide open, beautiful colors, well built, fast
Cons:
None so far

The more I use this lens the more impressed I am by its capabilities. It's a wonderful landscape lens, but it also shines indoors wide open, hand-held without flash. Highly recommended!

Dec 27, 2006
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Gelderland
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Registered: Feb 11, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,349.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp. Great build quality. Ultra fast focus. Great color replication.
Cons:
None at all. Worth the price for what I do.

I'll never buy another non-L lens again. This thing is a joy to work with.
Canon has done well for me over the years and this wonderul lens has not disappointed me at all.
Great build quality, smooth and extremely fast focus, smooth zoom ring and very well dampened.
I photograph concerts and need the quick focus and low light abilities. This lens gives me great wide angle views to better enhance my images.
Did I mention sharp as a tack? Even at f2.8 it holds its own very well.


Dec 25, 2006
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evisione
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Registered: Dec 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Review Date: Dec 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: color, sharpness, fast
Cons:
price

Like everyone else, I debated and debated between this and the 17-40 f/4. In all actuality, the 17-40 won out, but I was sorely disappointed in the results of the lens. It wasn't sharp enough. I thought it was the lens so I sent it back and got a replacement. But the results were the same. It was just missing that *oomph*

So, I sent the 2nd 17-40 back and broke down to spend the extra and get the 16-35 and OH MAN could I tell a difference immediately in the sharpness/crispness factors of the images. ANd there was a world of difference in the colors.

IMO, the 16-35 f/2.8 is the clear winner in this debate.


Dec 2, 2006
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CinderPath
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Registered: Jun 14, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Review Date: Nov 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Fast, quite sharp, nice range 16-35mm on a full frame.
Cons:
Extreme Flare

This is a nice lens, with a a nice range however it has a tendency have extreme flare and ghosting when it is pointing anywhere near the sun. I used this lens without filters, and with the hood. Sunset photos are practically impossible with this lens. The reality is a lens with this range and an f2.8 Maximum aperture requires too many glass elements, which contribute to the flare.

I sold it and purchased the 17-40 mm f4.0 L and am much happier, the flare is far better controlled, and the sharpness is equal, and also lighter in weight. This had nothing to do with the price. For me the loss of a stop was worth it.


Nov 28, 2006
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Aaron Dove
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Registered: Nov 5, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Nov 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: amazing wide angle images, nice lighter weight for a walk around lens, 2.8 is very nice.
Cons:
if you aren't single now, you will be after you buy it.

i agonized between this lens and the 17-40. i decided to take the hit and go for the 16-35. now i'm glad i did, as the extra f-stop has already come in real handy. don't believe any of the negative hype about this lens - yes it is slightly soft in the corners, but most wide angle lenses are. other than that this thing is razor sharp at all focal lengths and apertures (on an XTi/400D). an amazing lens in every respect, but the price will give you a guilty conscience.

Nov 10, 2006
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ChillAloha
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Registered: Jun 19, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 529
Review Date: Oct 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wide aperture, wide angle, solid build, good contrast and color, sharpness.
Cons:
Vignetting wide open, slight softness at corners - all to be expected on a wide lens with a full frame camera.

I've really been having a lot of fun with this lens. It's exceeded my expectations in many areas and as long as one understands the limitations inherent in this type of lens - especially on a full frame camera, it will definitely please.

It handles lens flare well, has excelent color and contrast, is quite sharp in the center and is only slightly soft in the corners. The extra full stop (compared to the 17-40mm f/4) makes this great indoors and the extra wide angle makes it wonderful for landscapes.

Highly recommended.


Oct 30, 2006
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GAREN
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Registered: Apr 21, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 8767
Review Date: Oct 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,399.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, at 2.8 it is sharper than my 24-70L and 70-200 2.8L. The contrast and color is excellent.
Cons:
Price could be less.

The best wide & super wide lens I have owned, much better than my 17-40L.

Oct 27, 2006
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davidheff
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Registered: Dec 20, 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 46
Review Date: Oct 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: f2.8, very sharp wide open at all focal lengths, I think I got a GEM. Build quality.
Cons:
none

I was a bit apprehensive in ordering this lens after I read alot of negative reviews, but I took the plunge, canon has just built me a GEM. I was surpised how sharp it was wide open for a zoom lens, I don't need to apply any usm as I do with my canon 24-70mm f2.8, I compared it to my Tokina 17mm AT-X PRO which is sharp but the 16-35mm is sharper. I'm glad I don't have any negative things to say about this lens, except for I should have bought it years ago. This lens is a keeper.

Oct 26, 2006
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2in3
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Registered: Jun 7, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: light weight; weather seal; internal focusing
Cons:
slight CA but can be corrected by ACR; lens tube does not feel like metal

..since there are so many negative reviews about this lens spreading out the forums, for the first few days i got the lens, i was a little bit worrying if it is worth paying double to get just 1 stop faster from f/4 to f/2.8..after weeks of experiments, i was very much released and start to love this gem...

..the advantage of 16-35L over 17-40L is the great low light hand held performance..though some may mention about the corner sharpness, in my opinion, most of people would hardly notice the corner sharpness difference between 16-35L and 17-40L at f/11 or f/16 of daylight landscape photography...

.. when widely open, the sharpness of 16-35L for sure won't match my 85L or 180L, but the picture quality is still acceptable to me...

..besides, this lens can also be used for close-up photography to get special perspective of small objects..the bokeh generated at f/2.8 could definitely not be repeated by 17-40L at f/4...

..i would say, people who have not tried all the aspects of 16-35L but rated it a very low mark are not eligible for the comment of the lens..in fact, as long as you get a good copy, you will never look back to 17-40L...

..here are some sample pix:

http://flickr.com/photos/2in3/sets/


Sep 13, 2006
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Peter Kirk
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Registered: Sep 25, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 309
Review Date: Jul 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: 2.8, "L", nice range
Cons:
price, CA

A bit more CA than the 17-40, however my copy seems to be much sharper, and the 17-40 is a damn fine lens indeed, so that says a lot

Jul 29, 2006
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Andrew Villa
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Registered: Jun 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 441
Review Date: Jul 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,019.99 | Rating: 10 

Pros: F2.8, wide, L glass, sharp.
Cons:
Can't think of any yet.

Well after much thinking and splurging and buying a mkIIn also, I bought this. I've only had it a few days, but as far as the lack of sharpness goes, I'll tell you my copy is great.



Jul 2, 2006
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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
140 336927 Oct 4, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $1,265.28
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.64
7.80
8.9
ef_16-35_28_1_


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